Friday, March 22, 2019

Permitting Slows in Utica Shale Last Week, But Producing Wells Total Climbs



New permits issued last week: 6 (Previous week: 21)  -15
Total horizontal permits issued: 3037 (Previous week: 3031 +6
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2552 (Previous week: 2546)  +6
Total horizontal wells producing: 2168 (Previous week: 2141)  +27
Utica rig count: 15 (Previous week: 14)  +1

Utica Shale Activity Map for March 2019 Now Available

There was previously an error on the ODNR website causing the Marcellus shale map to show when attempting to access the Utica map, but that has been corrected.  So here is the updated activity map!


Monday, March 18, 2019

Encino Plans a Measured Approach to Maximizing Utica Assets

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
In an industry known for boom-and-bust cycles, Encino Energy plans to follow a strategy of stable development in Ohio’s Utica Shale, President and CEO Hardy Murchison said Friday. 
Encino Energy is a partner in Encino Acquisitions Partners, which bought Chesapeake Energy’s assets in Ohio last year for $2 billion, including an office building office in Louisville, drilling rights to 900,000 acres and more than 900 wells. 
But where Chesapeake spent freely to explore new areas — and piled up debt — Texas-based Encino Energy has focused on proven reserves and a healthier balance sheet. 
“All of that is part of a longer-term strategy to run this as a normal business that needs to be profitable, less volatile and therefore better for its shareholders, its employees and the community,” Murchison told The Canton Repository after he and other members of Encino’s team spoke to the Stark Economic Development Board at Kent State University at Stark. 
On Thursday, Murchison and chief operations officer Ray N. Walker Jr. met with Gov. Mike DeWine and other state leaders, and spoke at the Ohio Oil & Gas Association’s annual meeting.
Continue reading by clicking here. 

And from NGI:
“You have to recognize that we’re in the transition from Chesapeake to Encino and that takes months to accomplish,” Murchison said Thursday at the winter meeting of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) in Columbus. “As we take over, we obviously start to have more and more influence, but to be clear, virtually all of the wells that will go into production in 2019 were planned by Chesapeake when we arrived on scene.” 
In his first public address since the acquisition was announced, Murchison said Encino is stabilizing operations and trying to work at a steadier pace. Chesapeake was among the first to develop the Utica, and with a once formidable position across the Appalachian Basin, it earned a reputation for innovation and solid well results. Chesapeake, Murchison said, had regularly been moving crews back and forth between Ohio and Pennsylvania, where it still has a large position in the northeastern part of the state. 
Click here to read that whole article (subscription required).

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Digging Deep Into the 4th Quarter 2018 Utica Shale Production Data

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has now released the production data from the Utica shale for the fourth and final quarter of 2018. As always, we are going to give you a look at how the numbers compare to past quarters, past years, and how they break down among the various drillers who are active in Ohio and the counties where they are drilling.  We also give you the top 10 oil and gas-producing wells of the quarter.

First, a quick note.  The ODNR news release says that there are 2,575 wells on the report and 2,241 of them reported some production.  But in examining the actual report that was released, only 2,241 total wells are listed, and 39 of those do not show any oil, gas, or brine produced.  So the numbers on this deep dive into the numbers will use what we were actually able to take from the report rather than what was listed in the news release.

PRODUCTION RATE COMPARISONS

First up, let's take a look at how the quarterly data compares from the first quarter of 2014 (which is when the ODNR began reporting quarterly data rather than one yearly report) through the final quarter of 2018. As a reminder, all oil figures are 42-gallon barrels, and all gas production is measured in MCF:


For the fourth consecutive quarter, oil production was on the rise.  In fact, the fourth quarter of 2018 saw the second-most total oil produced from shale in Ohio in any quarter over the past five years.  Of course, the production rates remained much lower than they were at their peak, although the 2,639 barrels of oil per well is the highest number since the third quarter of 2016.

Gas, meanwhile, continues to set a new peak for total production in each quarter.  Also, after a couple of quarters of production rates slowing a bit, the fourth quarter of 2018 also set new peaks for gas produced per well and per day in production.

The next table shows the production comparison year-over-year.



After trending up for the first three quarters, the strong oil production in the fourth quarter of 2018 results in a yearly total that ends the decline of the previous two years.  The 19,786,375 barrels of oil produced is the second-highest yearly total seen in the past eight years.  Gas, meanwhile, set yet another production peak and surpassed 2,000,000,000 mcf in a year for the first time.

TOP PRODUCING WELLS

Here are the top 10 oil-producing wells in quarter four of 2018:


As usual, Eclipse Resources dominates the list of the top 10 oil wells.  7 of the 10 wells are operated by Eclipse.  The Outlaw A 1H takes the top spot after being in 5th in total production during the third quarter, but the added total production isn't a surprise because that well had a production rate of 1,985 barrels per day in the third quarter and simply wasn't in production for as many days as some of the other wells on the list.

Here are the top 10 gas-producing wells from the quarter:


There's some interesting changes to this list as compared to the third quarter.  During quarter three, 9 of the 10 top gas-producing wells belonged to Ascent Resources (although Eclipse did hold the top spot with the Rolland C 5H well that was the fourth-highest producer of the fourth quarter).  In this quarter, though, Eclipse takes not only the top spot but also four more.  Ascent has four wells in the top 10, and Chesapeake Exploration sneaks into the tenth spot.

So, out of the twenty wells making up the top 10 oil producers and the top 10 gas producers, Eclipse Resources operates twelve of them.

COUNTY-BY-COUNTY

Here is the production data broken down by county:


Without much change in the well count during this quarter, some of the changes that might have been expected did not occur.  Carroll County continues to have the most wells in production by a small margin despite seeing no change to this number during the quarter.  Guernsey County continues to be the hot spot for oil, while Belmont County is the leader in total gas production and gas produced per well, although Jefferson County still edged it out in gas produced per day.  

OPERATOR-BY-OPERATOR

And here are the results broken down by operator:


Eclipse Resources now has enough wells in production that it becomes the new leader in total barrels of oil produced.  Ascent Resources continues to lead the way in total gas produced.

Also, we see Encino Acquisition Partners, which acquired all of Chesapeake Energy's Utica shale assets in Ohio, make its first appearance on the production data summary under the name EAP Ohio LLC.

ODNR Publishes 4th Quarter 2018 Utica Shale Production Data

From the ODNR:
During the fourth quarter of 2018, Ohio’s horizontal shale wells produced 5,810,484 barrels of oil and 663,534,323 Mcf (663 billion cubic feet) of natural gas, according to figures released today by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). 
Natural gas production from the fourth quarter of 2018 showed a 31.89 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2017, while oil production increased 38.56 percent for the same period. 

2017 Quarter 4 (Shale)
2018 Quarter 4 (Shale)
Percentage Change
Barrels of oil
4,193,562 bbl
5,810,484 bbl
38.56%
Mcf of natural gas
503,066,907 Mcf
663,534,323 Mcf
31.89%
The ODNR quarterly report lists 2,575 horizontal shale wells, 2,241 of which reported oil and natural gas production during the quarter. Of the wells reporting oil and natural gas results:
  • The average amount of oil produced was 2,593 barrels.
  • The average amount of natural gas produced was 296,088 Mcf.
  • The average number of fourth quarter days in production was 86.
  •  
All horizontal production reports can be accessed at oilandgas.ohiodnr.gov/production.
We will have our breakdown of the data ready soon!

Good News: The Daily Digger is Sticking Around

Thanks to the support of our sponsors and feedback we've received from readers, we have decided to keep The Daily Digger blog alive.

While our monthly printed newsletter will still end with this month's March issue, you can plan to continue visiting this website for updates on the oil and gas activity in the area!

Thank you to our audience for your continued support of the blog.  We are very happy to continue serving you with the latest news and information!

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Utica Rig Count Dips During Busy Week of Permitting



New permits issued last week: 21 (Previous week: 9)  +12
Total horizontal permits issued: 3031 (Previous week: 3015 +16
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2546 (Previous week: 2535)  +11
Total horizontal wells producing: 2141 (Previous week: 2141)  +-0
Utica rig count: 14 (Previous week: 17)  -3

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Last Days of The Daily Digger Are Counting Down

On March 31, 2019 we will stop operating The Daily Digger blog.  The March 2019 issue of The Digger energy news publication will be the last that we publish.

Throughout this month we will continue to update this page with the latest news as we have done throughout the more than 7 years that this blog has existed.

Thank you to all those that have read and supported us throughout these years.

If you have any interest in assuming control of the blog and/or print publication, please feel free to contact us by calling 330-576-4809 Ext. 115 or emailing admin@thedailydigger.com

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

ODNR Publishes Marcellus Activity Map for March 2019


The ODNR also published a map that it says is the Utica activity map for the month, but when opened it is just the Marcellus map again.  If/when that error gets corrected, we will share that map as well.

Rig Count, Wells Drilled, Wells Producing All Hold Steady in Utica Shale


New permits issued last week: 9 (Previous week: 9)  +-0
Total horizontal permits issued: 3015 (Previous week: 3006 +9
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2535 (Previous week: 2535)  +-0
Total horizontal wells producing: 2141 (Previous week: 2141)  +-0
Utica rig count: 17 (Previous week: 17)  +-0

As Wait for Final Decision Continues, Preparation for Belmont County Cracker Plant Carries On

From The Intelligencer:
Community leaders on both sides of the Ohio River want to ensure the local region is prepared if an ethane cracker plant proposed for Belmont County becomes a reality.

PTT Global Chemical America and its partner, Daelim Industrial Co., have acquired the necessary property and permits to build a petrochemical complex that could require an investment of up to $10 billion. One of the needed environmental permits has been challenged, and the companies are awaiting the results of the appeals process. There has been no official announcement yet regarding whether the plant will actually be built. 
In hopes that an announcement to that effect will come soon, Belmont County Tourism Council, Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Greater Moundsville Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted an event Thursday at Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack where community members could ask questions and learn more about the proposed plant and about other communities that have experienced similar development.
Read on by clicking here. 

One NEXUS Pipeline Lawsuit Gets Tossed, Another Keeps Going

From Vorys Energy & Environmental Law Blog:
On February 21, 2019, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a petition for review of air permits issued by Ohio EPA for two compressor stations to be constructed along the NEXUS pipeline in Ohio. The Court dismissed the petition for review for lack of jurisdiction, holding the environmental groups that filed the petition for review failed to establish standing. In reaching its decision, the Court highlighted that “petitioners bore the burden of establishing the irreducible constitutional minimum of standing” which requires petitioners demonstrate that they (1) suffered an injury in fact, (2) that is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct of the defendant, and (3) that is likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision. The Court also noted that a citizen group can establish standing on behalf of their members, but such “representational standing” requires the group to show that “its members would otherwise have standing to sue in their own right.” 
The Court held that petitioners failed to demonstrate the first element of standing – i.e. injury in fact. To demonstrate injury-in-fact, petitioners were required to “make specific allegations establishing that at least one identified member had suffered or would suffer harm.” The Court highlighted that petitioners could not rest on bare allegations to establish a concrete injury. Rather, petitioners were required to “present specific facts through citations to the administrative record or affidavits or other evidence” that at least one member of each petitioner group would suffer a concrete particularized harm from the compressor stations’ emissions.
Read more by clicking here. 

And from Law 360:
Nexus Gas Transmission LLC has shot back at Oberlin, Ohio’s challenge to FERC greenlighting a $2.1 billion pipeline, telling the D.C. Circuit there was plenty of need for the natural gas project and that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had properly scrutinized it. 
Nexus on Friday rebutted allegations by the city and the Coalition to Reroute Nexus that there wasn’t a real need for the pipeline — which is now in operation — because a significant portion of its capacity wasn’t under contract. Instead, available capacity provided a needed alternative for the market that enhanced competition, which is a public benefit, according to the company’s brief. 
“Petitioners argue that the amount of capacity subject to precedent agreements — 59 percent — is insufficient to support FERC’s finding of public need,” the Nexus brief said, noting that FERC cited “providing competitive alternatives” as a public benefit. “In order for a pipeline to be an available competitive alternative, it must have available capacity; thus, the commission’s policy of encouraging competition requires available capacity on new pipelines to provide an alternative to existing pipelines.”
Click here to continue reading. 

Ohio Man Charged for Making Bomb Threat to Oil and Gas Company

From the Observer-Reporter:
An Ohio man was arrested Tuesday on accusations he phoned a bomb threat last year into a company in North Strabane Township that services the Marcellus shale natural gas industry.

Township police charged Ryan Patrick Dougherty, 39, of Belmont, after determining his cellphone was used to place the call about 11:25 p.m. Nov. 16 to Myers Well Service in Eighty Four, court records show.

The threat prompted evacuations of Myers, at 40 Industry Drive, and several other nearby businesses, including the SpringHouse Market, where bakers were working the midnight shift, police stated in the affidavit.

The night supervisor at Myers answered the call, in which a man told him that half of his employees were on drugs, the court record show.

The caller didn’t like the answer he received, and he then said, “Since you don’t care, the bomb has already been planted, and at 9 a.m., the place will go up in smoke,” police stated in the affidavit.
If you'd like to read more, click here. 

Legal Dispute Over Second Lordstown Power Plant Resolved, Construction Planned

From the Youngstown Vindicator:
The first plant began operation last October after about 21/2 years of construction. 
Siderewicz and his company filed the lawsuit on behalf of the proposed second plant, known as the Trumbull Energy Center, in September 2017 asking Judge Peter Kontos to enforce the agreements the owners of the first plant signed to allow the second plant to be built. 
The owners of the first plant, known as the Lords-town Energy Center, said they were holding off on deciding whether to allow the second plant’s construction until they had time to study the impact the second plant would have on the first plant. 
Judge Kontos ruled in late 2017 that the owners of the first plant must sign an agreement related to the industrial park necessary for the second plant to proceed. An appeal of that ruling is pending.
Read the rest of that article by clicking right here.

And also from the Vindicator:
Construction of a $925 million clean-energy power plant in Lordstown should begin this summer, according to a press release issued today from Clean Energy Future, the project’s developer. 
The center is projected to have a $26 billion long-term economic impact on the Mahoning Valley economy and local and state governments, according to CEF. 
Trumbull Energy Center will be built adjacent to and just south of the $900 million Lordstown Energy Center, which CEF also developed. It went into commercial operation last October. 
Huntington Bank and Key Bank have both expressed interest in loaning debt capital to Trumbull, according to the press release issued by Bill Siderewicz, CEF’s president. 
Trumbull has all its major permits and licenses, and CEF was ready to proceed to the financing stage for Trumbull when a contract dispute arose that forced Trumbull to file suit against the adjacent Lordstown energy facility. That dispute has been settled, officials said. 
“Once funded, Trumbull will yield substantial economic benefits to Northeast Ohio and the to the people of Trumbull and Mahoning counties,” said Bill Siderewicz, CEF’s president. 
Trumbull will be a huge economic boost to the Mahoning Valley and greater-Ohio, he said. 
The immediate impact will be new construction jobs over 34 consecutive months that will peak at 950 workers, representing close to 2 million man-hours of construction effort, CEF said.
Click here to read that whole article. 

Results From Cabot's Exploratory Wells Unsatisfactory

From a Cabot Oil & Gas press release:
Fourth-quarter 2018 operating expenses (including financing) decreased to $1.87 per Mcfe, a seven percent improvement compared to the prior-year period. All operating expenses per unit were in-line with the Company's guidance for the quarter except for depreciation, depletion and amortization and exploration, driven by higher amortization of undeveloped leasehold and exploratory dry hole costs associated with unsuccessful drilling results in our exploration areas. "After further evaluation of our remaining exploration prospect, we have determined that this area is unlikely to yield results that generate long-term value creation for our shareholders," noted Dinges. "As we have said through this entire evaluation process, we remain committed to deploying capital judiciously and if a project fails to generate competitive full-cycle returns, then we will not allocate additional capital to it going forward."
The exploration area in question here is Ashland County, and it is apparent from this release and further comments during the company's fourth quarter earnings call with reporters that Cabot is not planning any more activity in the area at this time.  Read the whole press release by clicking here. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Utica Rig Count Climbs for Second Straight Week



New permits issued last week: 9 (Previous week: 1)  +8
Total horizontal permits issued: 3006 (Previous week: 3000 +6
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2535 (Previous week: 2532)  +3
Total horizontal wells producing: 2141 (Previous week: 2141)  +-0
Utica rig count: 17 (Previous week: 15)  +2

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Encino Has Hired Over 100 People in Louisville

From WKSU:
Encino is a natural gas and oil acquistion and development company created by a group of successful former executives of other major gas & oil corporations. Late last year it made a multi-billion dollar deal to get the Ohio holdings of Chesapeake Energy, the original leader in the Utica Shale development. 
Encino's Director of External Affairs Jackie Stewart says the company is now committed to its new Utica headquarters in Louisville. “We’re trying to hire local. I mean, over 70% of our entire employees are here in Ohio.” 
She says the size and richness of the Utica shale has a lot to do with that. “When you think about the future and oil and natural gas career pathways in Ohio, we have world class rock here. So, we’re going to be here for a long time.” 
Stewart says Encino has already hired more than a 100 people in Louisville and is actively recruiting.
Read on by clicking here. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

CNX Utica Well Accident Will End Up Costing Company Millions of Dollars

Last month CNX discovered a leak as they were finishing a Utica shale well in Pennsylvania, as mentioned on our blog.  Now the price tag from the problem is becoming clear.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The opportunity to complete the three wells that didn’t trigger the problem still exists, the company told investors on Monday. But that’s not on the budget for 2019 or the carryover budget for 2020. 
These large Utica wells — which CNX pioneered in this area of southwestern Pennsylvania — are voluminous, both in gas production and expense. They are about a mile deeper than their Marcellus cousins and the gas they tap is therefore at greater pressure than in the shallower layers. 
In the most recent company earnings call, executives said they’re spending around $14 million per well for development, but they’re shooting to get that down to $12.5 million. 
On Monday, CNX disclosed that all told, the Shaw pad will account for $30 million in capital spending this year. That includes the cost of drilling and partially fracking the four Utica wells, as well as the remediation costs, which are anticipated to include plugging the leaky well with cement.
Continue reading by clicking here. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Ohio AG's Lawsuit Against Rover Pipeline Inches Through Court System

From the Times Reporter:
More than a year after Ohio’s Attorney General sued Rover Pipeline for polluting a Stark County wetland and other alleged environmental violations, the parties continue to fight over whether a local court should hear the case. 
The state has said Rover Pipeline and six subcontractors broke various regulations involving the release of stormwater, drilling fluid or water used in pressure-testing the 713-mile-long interstate natural gas pipeline. 
Rover Pipeline and the subcontractors have argued that only the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, not the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, has the power to enforce environmental regulations on an interstate pipeline. 
There is no timetable for when the judge will make her ruling. 
Rover Pipeline, comprising two 42-inch-diameter mainlines, transports up to 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Utica and Marcellus shale regions to users in the United States and Canada. Texas-base Energy Transfer owns the pipeline. 
Rover began partial operation in August 2017 and the last lateral pipelines that feed the system went on-line in November of last year. Locally, Rover’s mainlines cross Carroll, Tuscarawas, Stark and Wayne counties.
Click here to continue reading. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Permitting Slows to Crawl But Rig Count Goes Up in Utica Shale



New permits issued last week: 1 (Previous week: 15)  -14
Total horizontal permits issued: 3000 (Previous week: 3000 +-0
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2532 (Previous week: 2531)  +1
Total horizontal wells producing: 2141 (Previous week: 2141)  +-0
Utica rig count: 15 (Previous week: 14)  +1

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ohio Schools Await Financial Windfall from NEXUS Pipeline

From the Norwalk Reflector:
Area school districts in the path of the new NEXUS natural gas pipeline appear confident they will get new tax revenues beginning in 2020. 
Beyond that, there’s still uncertainty about what the net effect will be, as school districts such as Edison assume the state will cut school funding in response to the gas pipeline windfall. 
Late last year, gas began to flow through the 36-inch, 256-mile NEXUS natural gas pipeline, which runs from Kensington in southeast Ohio through to Michigan, passing through Erie and Sandusky counties. 
Several years ago, NEXUS published an estimate on the amount of ad valorem property tax revenues the pipeline would generate for local school districts and governments. 
Some of the biggest projected revenues for the first year of funding, which apparently will be 2020, are $3.6 million for Edison Schools, $735,200 for EHOVE, $1.4 million for Perkins Schools, $6.2 million for Margaretta Schools and $870,500 for Erie County.
Read the whole article by clicking here. 

Monday, February 18, 2019

XTO Provides $425,000 to Belmont County First Responders in Agreement with ODNR

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources:
Belmont County first responders will receive $425,000 to enhance their ability to keep their communities safe through new equipment and training, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). 
The funding for these first responders is provided in accordance with a compliance agreement between XTO Energy Inc. (XTO) and ODNR. This financial support will directly fund the purchases of equipment and training to bolster response capabilities within the communities of Belmont County. 
“The safety of our local first responders is paramount in any emergency situation,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “That is why we worked to help provide them with the additional support, training and equipment to ensure they are prepared and able to safely respond.” 
The table attached to this release designates the name of each public entity, the corresponding address and the amount to be remitted to the public entity. 
The compliance agreement remittance settles violations of ODNR’s regulations regarding an incident that occurred during drilling operations at the Schnegg Unit C 7-H well in Belmont County on Feb. 15, 2018. An additional $425,000 will be paid to the ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management’s regulatory programs.
View the original news release here. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Utica Rig Count Holds at 14 for Third Straight Week

WEEK ENDING 02/02/19



New permits issued last week: 6 (Previous week: 10)  -4
Total horizontal permits issued: 2993 (Previous week: 2992)  +1
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2524 (Previous week: 2517)  +7
Total horizontal wells producing: 2141 (Previous week: 2138)  +3
Utica rig count: 14 (Previous week: 14)  +-0

WEEK ENDING 02/09/19


New permits issued last week: 15 (Previous week: 6)  +9
Total horizontal permits issued: 3000 (Previous week: 2993)  +7
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2531 (Previous week: 2524)  +7
Total horizontal wells producing: 2141 (Previous week: 2141)  +-0
Utica rig count: 14 (Previous week: 14)  +-0

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

CNX Fracking Accident Leads to Flaring, Water Concerns

From TribLIVE:
The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County has asked for an extra water sample from Beaver Run Reservoir after a gas well located near the water source recently lost pressure. 
CNX Resources suspended fracking operations from its Shaw 1G well, a deep Utica well on the northwestern side of Beaver Run Reservoir, because of a “pressure anomaly” observed last week, the Canonsburg-based energy company said over the weekend. 
The Municipal Authority serves more than 400,000 people in five counties. Beaver Run Reservoir provides water to about 130,000 people in northern Westmoreland County through the authority’s George R. Sweeney Treatment Plant. It also serves small portions of Armstrong and Indiana counties. 
CONSOL Energy began establishing gas wells on seven pad sites near the reservoir in 2011.
Click here to continue reading that article.

CNX is investigating the cause of the problem, but the company already has announced the likely root cause.  From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
CNX Resources Corp. said a problem with the casing in its compromised Utica Shale well in Westmoreland County was the likely root of high pressure gas that flooded nearby shallower wells two weeks ago. 
The Cecil-based company told investors that the problem at its Shaw 1G well in Westmoreland County occurred about a mile underground.

It’s still early in the investigation, the company cautioned in its annual report filed on Thursday, “but based on the information we have at this time, we believe the issue is isolated to this well and was caused by a casing integrity issue that occurred at a depth below approximately 5,200 feet, allowing gas traveling up the wellbore to escape at that point.” 
At that depth, according to the well record filed with the state, there were two pipes in the ground, one a 9.6-inch diameter steel casing and inside of it a 5.5-inch diameter production casing. 
The narrower pipe, which is the conduit for the gas to travel up the wellbore, was cemented to the wider one at that depth. But the cement stopped a few hundred feet above that. Operators are not required to cement the production pipe all the way to the surface. 
When the gas escaped from the wellbore at that depth, it made its way to nine vertical wells, drilled to a depth between 3,700 feet and 3,900 feet, according to the DEP.
Click here to read the rest of that article. 

Anti-Fracking Groups Paid Dimock Landowner Who Traveled Country Claiming Fracking Contaminated Water

The battle in Dimock, Pennsylvania between a group of landowners and Cabot Oil and Gas is one that has just refused to end.  Dimock resident Ray Kemble sparked the latest round of legal wrangling by filing what would appear to be a frivolous lawsuit that attempts to relitigate matters that had already been resolved through the court system, which prompted Cabot to turn around and sue Kemble and his attorneys.  The resulting legal discovery process has exposed some fascinating details about the nature of the claims that have been so highly publicized regarding Dimock's water.  It also seems to reveal that Kemble has been used as a pawn by anti-fracking groups, neighbors in pursuit of fame and cash, and seedy attorneys.

From Natural Gas Now:
Yes, following the hearings yesterday in Montrose and the big news about Food & Water Watch and Catskill Mountainkeeper funding Craig Stevens, his deposition by Cabot, which was made a part of the court record, was published by FrackNation. It is such fascinating reading that it’s going to take 2-3 posts to discuss it and all its implications. Suffice it to say it proves, beyond any reasonable doubt, the entire Dimock narrative as spun by fractivists, with the aid of a compromised press, has been a dirty lie. 
The transcript, a highlighted version of which may be found here, reveals six big things every person interested in the truth needs to know: 
  1. Ray Kemble has been the hapless victim of his friends, their manipulators and their funders.
  2. True believer Bill Huston, who has attached himself to what he thought was a noble cause, has also been a victim of these people, as well as his own delusions of grandeur.
  3. Craig Stevens has been a victim of his own considerable ability to do the sales hustle.
  4. Trial lawyers have been trying for years to leverage Dimock to make it rain high-payout lawsuits and haven’t cared who they’ve had use to get what they want.
  5. Fractivist groups such as Food & Water Watch and Catskill Mountainkeeper have coordinated with each other and trial lawyers to frame the false Dimock narrative using stooges only too willing to be used.
  6. The entire enterprise has been purchased with huge dark money donations from wealthy elites.
There’s so much to discuss from the deposition transcript, and it has to be read in its entirety to fully appreciate the points made above. Stevens repeatedly reversed himself during the deposition as evidence came forward from Cabot proving what he had earlier said just wasn’t so. Therefore, unless you read it all, you won’t appreciate how hard he worked to avoid disclosing who his enablers were.
That post goes on to share a chunk of Stevens' deposition, and you can read it and decide for yourself if he sounds like an individual whose statements ought to be trusted.

In another post, Natural Gas Now's Tom Shepstone examines more of Stevens' deposition.  Specifically, the post focuses on a section of the deposition where Stevens' testimony before the New York General Assembly was broken down.  In his testimony, Stevens held up a paper holding pre-drilling test results on Ray Kemble's water and emphatically stated that the tests showed that there was "absolutely nothing wrong with the water and no methane in it before drilling occurred.”

Here is a portion of that post:

Q. Okay. Now, you say that there was no methane detected in the water, correct? 
A. That’s what it says here, no hydrocarbons detected, yes. 
Q. That’s not my question, Mr. Stevens. You said on there, there was no methane detected in the water, correct? 
A. Prior to your — 
Q. What you said on the video, you said holding up this predrill sample, you said there was no methane detected in the water, correct? 
A. Correct. 
Q. Can you show me on this document, Cabot Exhibit Number 5, where there was a test for the dissolved methane in water? 
A. It says no hydrocarbons detected right at the bottom — 
Q. And what — 
A. — there. 
Q. — what that says, field notes, LEL, lower explosive limit, monitoring performed with a LEL monitor. Do you know what an LEL monitor is? 
A. It tests for lower explosive limits so that’s — I guess I learned it’s below 27 milligrams per liter. 
Q. And when — when you use an LEL meter, where are you testing for the methane? 
A. I have no idea, I’ve never used one. 
Q. So you don’t even understand what LEL — what this LEL meter was testing or where or how, correct? 
A. I’m not an expert on testing for methane. 
Q. Okay. Now, do you have an understanding or — so I guess it would come to a surprise to you to know that using an LEL meter you are actually testing for methane in the air? 
MR. POSEY: Objection. You can answer if you know. 
THE WITNESS: I — I — yeah, I don’t know, so… 
BY MS. BARRETTE: 
Q. And there’s no test on here that shows what the dissolved methane is in water that shows that his water was being tested for dissolved methane, correct? 
MR. POSEY: Objection. You can answer if you know. 
THE WITNESS: I don’t have any idea. It looks like not included in this, that portion was not included in this. 
BY MS. BARRETTE: 
Q. Okay. So you don’t know if there was dissolved methane in Mr. — Mr. Kemble’s water when you stood up there and said that in front of the New York Assembly, correct? 
MR. POSEY: Objection. You can answer if you know. 
THE WITNESS: I don’t know. 
BY MS. BARRETTE: 
Q. Is that how you do consulting, you consult and make statements to government officials about things that you really don’t know about? 
MR. POSEY: Objection. You can answer if you know. 
THE WITNESS: I try to be as informed as I can, but it’s hard to keep up with how much damage was done in that area. So everybody had different tests, every home had a different level of everything. So very hard to keep up with. 
BY MS. BARRETTE: 
Q. This is — you are here focusing in that video on Mr. Kemble’s water. If you were going to speak about Mr. Kemble’s water, wouldn’t it have been prudent to make sure that you knew and understood the test results about Mr. Kemble’s water? 
MR. POSEY: Objection. You can answer if you know. 
THE WITNESS: I — I’ve seen methane in his water, so the testing data — this was prior to that, but after that massive — I mean, bubbles — a lot of bubbles in glasses of water. 
BY MS. BARRETTE: 
Q. And you — and you also said that you never saw Mr. Kemble’s water prior to 2010, correct? 
A. Well, that’s from 2013, the video, correct? 
Q. That’s correct. 
A. Okay. That’s after the fact. But, no, I did — had not seen his water before 2010. 
Q. So you don’t know if there — you could see methane bubbling in his water prior to 2010, correct? 
A. Correct.
There is much more to take in by reading the rest of that post.